Tucked in VS Untucked dress shirt - the definitive guide

Tucked in VS Untucked dress shirt - the definitive guide

May 22, 2019

This may seem like a simple topic, and tucking in your dress shirt is maybe something you’re doing or not doing without even thinking twice about it. But just because you’re doing something, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing it correctly. This guide will help you decide whether you should wear your dress shirt tucked in or not.

When should you tuck in your dress shirt?

When to tuck in your dress shirt is a question often debated, with different opinions from different people. Some argue that tucked in dress shirts should be worn to formal occasions only, whereas others would like to think that it’s a style suitable for all types of occasions.

Which dress shirts should be tucked in?

So, which dress shirts are meant to be tucked in? There are generally some things to keep in mind when determining whether you should tuck in your dress shirt. A tucked in dress shirt should generally have a longer hem than on a dress shirt that you would keep untucked.

What length should a tucked in dress shirt have?

Dress shirts with visible tails, where the hem varies in length rather than being even all the way around your body, are best worn tucked. The hem on these dress shirts are often a bit longer in the back and covers the bum. They create a sleek and clean look when being tucked in and makes for a great outfit.

Don’t forget the belt

Although it’s not a written rule to wear a belt to your tucked-in dress shirt, we think this is more of a rule than an exception. Wearing a belt to match your tucked-in style creates a well-dressed and classy look. You can choose the color of the belt yourself, although we would recommend one in a dark brown color to make the rest of the outfit look smooth and coherent.

By adding a dark brown belt to your tucked-in dress shirt it creates a sharp and coherent outfit.

How to keep your dress shirt tucked in all day long

The feeling of having a dress shirt come untucked throughout the day is annoying and can be prevented by using the right methods to tuck in your dress shirt.

Tips in making your tucked in dress shirt stay tucked in

When tucking in your dress shirt there are a few methods out there that makes it less difficult to keep it tucked in throughout the day. If you’ve done a good job on tucking in your dress shirt it should make the front portion of your body look flat and smooth. The placket on your dress shirt should be placed precisely so that it lines up with the fly on your trousers. It’s hard to get every aspect right in an off the rack-size, so we’d recommend going for a custom tailored dress shirt instead.

  • The basic trouser tuck: This is probably the most common one when it comes to different shirt tucking practices. Here, the tails on the dress shirt is tucked inside the trousers but placed above the underpants. First, put on your underwear followed by your dress shirt, button it up and finish off with putting on your dress shirt. If your trousers aren’t too loose, your dress shirt should stay tucked in without any further effort on your part.
  • The Military tuck: The name originates from how the armed forces were trained to tuck in their uniform shirts. A military tuck consists of standing straight observing any loose fabric hanging from the sides. If there is, the fabric is folded into a sharp diagonal crease which is then tucked in at the hips and have trousers put on above.

Make sure your dress shirt has a perfect fit

A bad fit spoils it all. That’s why the most important step is making sure your dress shirt has the perfect fit. A dress shirt that comes untucked throughout the day is often simply a result from a bad fit. Making sure your dress shirt has long tails is a way to prevent it from becoming untucked throughout the day. Also, make sure the sleeves on your dress shirt has some extra room. A too tight fit will make the dress shirt come untucked when lifting up or doing something remotely with your arms. Getting your dress shirt in a Made to Measure fit lowers the risk of it getting untucked, since it’s custom made for your measurements only.

Can dress shirts be worn untucked?

Not that into the whole tucked in-look? No worries, there are plenty of dress shirts options out there that look just as great untucked. Dress shirts made in more relaxed and soft fabrics such as oxford dress shirts, flannel shirts and chambray shirts are great for the untucked look. These often have a more straight hem that make them great to leave untucked. Dress shirts in linen are also perfect if you prefer the untucked style. As long as they have the right length, stylish business shirts can also be worn untucked if styled properly to match the occasion.

Linen shirts are great if you prefer the untucked look and works well for warmer temperatures.

How far down should an untucked dress shirt hang?

A dress shirt that works well as untucked should be a little bit shorter than the dress shirts you usually tuck in. By making in 1,5 to 2,5 inches shorter than a dress shirt suited for tucking in, you get the perfect length.

Tucked in or not for different occasions

There are occasions when a tucked-in dress shirt is to prefer over an untucked one as well as vice versa. If it’s a formal occasion, for example a wedding, a tucked in dress shirt is almost mandatory if you don’t want to risk looking too casual. Wearing a dress shirt underneath a blazer jacket? Then your dress shirt should be tucked in. However, if the occasion is a more relaxed one at a casual restaurant or a bar, you can relax while having your dress shirt untucked.

Which way is more well-dressed?

As stated above, there are different guidelines for how to wear your dress shirt depending on what type of occasion we’re talking about. Although, you may be wondering which style is more viewed upon as more well-dressed. We would argue that a tucked-in dress shirt gives off a stronger formal and well-dressed vibe.

Is an untucked dress shirt unprofessional?

On specific occasions wearing an untucked dress shirt could come off as unprofessional, yes. However, that’s not to say it’s a bad look overall. Given the right time and place, an untucked dress shirt gives off a casual and stylish vibe. Although keep in mind that it’s more of a casual look, and not to be confused with a business casual look.

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